Shirdi Baba is said to be the Embodiment of Universal consciousness, which in more detail means that He is the awareness of knowledge throughout the universe, of which our world is part. In order to discuss His philosophy in a global perspective, there are some definitions to be set. Philosophy is said to be the love of knowledge, where knowledge pertains to a treasure of incalculable riches. Shirdi Baba’s universal and spiritual consciousness was His knowledge, and His philosophy was that all devotees no matter what creed, race or religion became enlightened by this light.
His teachings are universal for the simple fact that they pertain to the spiritual growth of the soul, and not to the wealth of the materialistic world. Our souls are all the same no matter where in the world we live, and no matter what status we hold in society. Shirdi Baba is a universal teacher since he brought devotees of two religions, which till this day are in quarrel, together. His devotees were never sure of what religion he belonged to. To his Hindu devotees Shirdi Baba was the embodiment of God who had come to restore righteousness as declared by Lord Krishna in the Bhagawad Gita. To his Muslim devotees he was a prophet, like Mohammed, because he always had Allah’s name on his lips.
He took the form of the devotees’ guru in order to teach them lessons in order that they progress to higher spiritual knowledge. His teachings were not complicated, they were basic, and he taught them from simple examples. He used things that happened in basic life as a metaphor for spiritual growth. Take for example Shirdi Baba’s daily ritual of grinding wheat, when asked by his devotees why he did the grinding he said that it had a more spiritual significance than the one that met their eyes. The spiritual significance of the grinding was that He was taking away the sins, mental afflictions and physical afflictions of all His devotees. In Shri Sai Satcharitra it explains the following "The two stones of His mill consisted of Karma and Bhakti, the former being the lower and the latter the upper one. The handle...consisted of Jnana. It was the firm conviction of Baba that knowledge or Self realization is not possible, unless there is prior act of grinding of all our impulses, desires, sins; and of the three gunas".
In referring back to how he had both Muslim and Hindu devotees, this represented his universal consciousness in which even today can be put into practice. We all find ourselves in a society, which is culturally diverse, and this is where his teachings are our beacon of light. Instead of making our neighbors the enemies for being diverse, we can use Shirdi Baba’s teaching to make them our brothers and sisters. As He has said " you need not go far or anywhere in search of me. Barring your name and form there exists in you, as well as in all beings, a sense of Being or Consciousness of Existence. That is Myself." Here He has declared that He is in all. If He is in all, Shirdi is all around us. By knowing this we realize that He is within ourselves. Slowly the truth starts unfolding, as if His spirit is within us, we are also universally conscious, and the difference is that we are not aware of that yet. But through His teaching Shirdi makes us aware of this truth, the eternal truth that we are all one.
The realization of ourselves and that those around us are the same starts a chain reaction in order to bring righteousness to this world. If we are all the same, we need not engage in unrighteousness to harm each other. When righteousness is restored, we shall all live in peace. Only in peace can the love of God be fully realized.
Shirdi Baba’s teachings are universal as His form for it can be practiced by anyone anywhere. If it is started in any end of the world through chain reactions one-day it shall reach the whole world. His philosophy is a pathway to reaching the true reality of our being, which was why He came down to earth. He as a Satguru is nirguna, He has indeed took human form to elevate mankind and raise the world.
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